Home Leisure & Lifestyle 2024 SME Trends Unveiled: From Podcasts to Sustainability

2024 SME Trends Unveiled: From Podcasts to Sustainability

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Workspace is London’s leading owner and operator of flexible workspace, managing five million sq. ft. of sustainable space with 76 core locations in London and the South East. They are home to some 4,000 of London’s fastest-growing and most established brands from a diverse range of sectors, and as we enter 2024, some of these brands have shared the trends they expect businesses to focus on this year. Leaders are navigating an increased call for operational transparency, improving their employees’ well-being, or reaching B Corp status with sustainable practices.

Strategic storytelling: 2024 will see a continued rise of brands’ podcasting

Podcasts are a leading sector in Workspace buildings, and Maz Farsani, COO at Outset Studios, based at Workspace buildings Brickfields in Hoxton and Print Rooms in Borough, has weighed in on why podcast popularity is set to continue in 2024: “Within an increasingly competitive landscape, podcasts allow businesses to reach their audience in a novel format. They allow us to provide the listeners, whether they are existing customers or potential future customers, with a value-added service that will set us apart from our competitors. Trying to foster genuine engagement can be difficult, and we’ve found that the spoken word, along with insight, helps us get through. Podcasts also provide a platform for staff members who want to get involved and promote their own personal brand, which is invaluable in terms of attracting and keeping top talent.”

The arts and wellness industry will continue to expand

Well-being and the arts go hand in hand and are at the forefront of lots of people’s minds, especially as we enter the new year. The arts and well-being industries will likely continue to grow this year, with hair and beauty services, skincare, and sports and fitness among the leading sectors that have recently taken up space in Workspace’s London buildings. Photography, film or video, and dance were also among the leading industries that took space with Workspace in 2023.

Jamie Greenlaw-Meek, head of events at The Wellness Foundry, based at Workspace building Vox Studios in Vauxhall, says: “The well-being industry is a direct response to the fast-paced world we are living in. There’s a growing awareness of how important it is to take time to care for ourselves, and we’re seeing a boom in businesses offering creative solutions. There’s a huge demand for guidance and ways to make wellness easier, and the industry is responding to that. In 2024, we think the wellness industry will continue to grow and innovation will skyrocket, so watch this space!”

Sustainability initiatives will infiltrate all parts of business 

In September 2023, the UK B Corp community celebrated reaching 1,500 UK businesses, an increase of 50% in less than a year, and it’s expected this number will continue to grow in 2024. Sustainability is going to be huge for businesses this year, with 38% of London-based SMEs having set a target to hit net zero carbon by 2040 and 82% of London SMEs describing sustainability as important to their businesses.

Workspace has seen an increase in sustainable businesses in their buildings, so Sonal Jain, head of sustainability at Workspace, offered her insight: “At Workspace, we want to empower our customers across London to make the most sustainable choices possible. We’ve just taken a huge leap towards our net-zero carbon goal by signing a groundbreaking deal to source two-thirds of our electricity from solar energy. This is a landmark moment in the industry, being the first clean energy CPPA by a London office provider, drawing directly from a renewable source. We’re setting the pace and hope to inspire others in the sector to speed up their shift to net-zero carbon.

“Our customers want to make sustainable choices, and we are committed to giving them the tools to do this. There are several things we implement, and it starts with our buildings, which are lovingly restored. This process is often more difficult than rebuilding, but it’s by far the most sustainable choice, and it preserves the beautiful history of our locations.”

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